On June 7, 2015 the Jamaica Performing Arts Center in Queens came alive when Braata Productions hosts its first Bankra Caribbean Folk Festival. The event started at 12:00 noon, and was a day of fun for the entire family.
Caribbean Folk culture was showcased in fine style at this one day festival which attracted a diverse audience, with its Effigy Walkway, a Children’s Village with face painting, bounce-about, a magician and a clown and a Food Pavilion. “As we embark on this inaugural Caribbean Folk Festival in Queens, we hope it will grow and expand in ensuing years to become a staple on the list of must do summer festivals,” said Andrew Clarke, founder of Braata Productions. “The Caribbean community has so much to offer and this Folk Festival provides a unique opportunity to showcase our rich and diverse cultural heritage with the residents of the borough and its environs. We look forward to the support of the Queens community and the wider New York tri state area to ensure the Festival’s success.”
The Braata Folk Singers of Jamaica lead an impressive lineup of cultural groups s who performed throughout the afternoon starting at 1:00 pm. Something Positive Inc. and Adlib Steel Orchestra provided a taste of the Trinidadian experience, La Troupe Zetwal and Smax Music of Haiti, Impressions Dance Theatre and Chitra Singh of Guyana while Quake USA of Grenada round out, the regional cultural explosion.
What sets the Bankra Festival apart from the other festivals or concerts was the offering of a full sensory experience of traditional music, dance, crafts, and food. “This event is dedicated to Folk forms and Folk culture, it will stimulate nostalgia for those who grew up with it, provide learning opportunities for others who had no knowledge of it, and will help reestablish the importance, and relevance of Folk as a viable, vibrant contributor to the Caribbean brand,” noted Clarke.